Victor Larin:Greater Eurasia, Transmuting America, and Russia-China Teamwork

Author:Victor Larin Date:2016-11-22

On November 15, 2016, the Institute of International & Strategic Studies (IISS), Peking University (PKU) invited Professor Victor Larin, Director of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far East, Russian Academy of Sciences, Far Eastern Branch, to give a lecture on the topic of “Greater Eurasia, Transmuting America, and Russia-China Teamwork”. This lecture was hosted by Associate Prof. Gui Yongtao, Assistant President of IISS. Guan Guihai, Executive Vice President of IISS participated in the discussion session of the lecture. 

According to Professor Larin, the present world is at a critical turning point and international events such as Britain’s exit from the EU, U.S. Presidential Election, and China’s expanding international influence have provided more possibilities for Russia’s foreign policies and the relationship between Russia, China and the US. From the end of the 20th century till today, Russia’s foreign policy on “Eurasian integration” have been undergoing changes. Compared with years before 2014, the Russian government now focuses more on the integration with neighboring countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The current Putin Administration is more actively advancing Russia’s cooperation on “Greater Eurasian Integration” with countries in the Asia-Pacific Region in such fields as economy, politics and culture. 

During the lecture, Professor Larin reviewed the history of cooperation between Russia and nations in the Asia-Pacific Region and analyzed Russia’s policy of “Greater Eurasia” from such perspectives as potential strategic partners, emerging regional cooperative organizations and the North Korea Nuclear issue. Major benefit targets of Russia in the Pacific Region are firstly to become a real, active participant in the economic, political and cultural cooperation in the region and secondly to boost domestic economic development through cooperation with Asia. 

In terms of the analysis on the US, the new President-elect Trump has shown the tendency toward “a shrinking US international strategy”. On the one hand, this can absolutely reduce the conflict of interest between the US, Russia and China brought by the expanding influence of the US in the Asia-Pacific Region; but from the perspective of global governance, this policy may damage the multilateral collaboration on settling international problems. 

Toward the end of the lecture, Professor Larin demonstrated survey data on the value and benefit evaluation of young people from 18 to 25 in China, Japan, Russia and South Korea, showing that the four countries have many similarities in the sense of family identity and life attitude, but differ sharply in the evaluation of confidence in work and the future. In contrast to Chinese students’ great confidence in the future, Japanese young people have expressed their worry about the uncertain future. 

In the Q&A session, Profession Larin also further discussed such topics as the direction of U.S. foreign policy toward Russia mentioned in the U.S. Presidential Election and Russia’s policy of Greater Eurasia with teachers and students present. 

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